Coveted collector’s items
When the Hahnenkamm Races first began in 1931, the tradition for artfully designed posters had not yet been introduced. There were only a few motifs designed by the great painter, Alfons Walde, for the very popular ski jumping events of the 1930s. The Hahnenkamm Races were, in fact, promoted exclusively with “text-only posters” right up until the seventies. Another graphic poster motif was used from the 70’s until 1987 (red background with a blue ski racer and white text), but it was always the same image.
In autumn 1986, a private committee commissioned Kitzbühel artist, Ernst Insam, with the design of an alternative poster for the 1987 races, for which there were two designs. Kitzbühel Ski Club commissioned Ernst Insam directly with the design of the poster for the 1988 and 1989 races, resulting in a modified motif for each race (rooster with feathers of national flags).
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary Hahnenkamm-Races in 1990, the Kitzbühel branch of BTV (Bank for Tirol und Vorarlberg) offered to organise a tendering procedure, for which a jury would decide the anniversary poster. The idea was well received and the Hahnenkamm Races poster design has been selected in this manner ever since. An international competition has been held annually since 2011, which gives the design a different and cosmopolitan perspective. The image theme (originally a ski racer - Hahnenkamm - Kitzbühel town) has also been given more scope. Commissioned work, for example by graphic designers and agencies, is not the focal point here.
The art posters for the Hahnenkamm Races are registered at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne and are highly sought-after by collectors worldwide. The latest FIS Ski Book (Ski Sport in Art and Design by Karin Rade, Leipzig edition) also features two poster designs from the Hahnenkamm Races. Proceeds generated by poster sales are donated to the support of Kitzbühel’s young and up-coming ski talent. The posters are produced in A1 format (59.4 x 84.1 cm) and printed on high quality paper stock.